By Katie Eubanks Ginn
I recently attended a Pro-Life Mississippi luncheon. Before I even sat down, somebody asked, “How’s married life?” It’s the question of the hour, and I’m happy to answer: Being a newlywed is lots of fun.
However, I’m having to duck under some poisonous darts every now and then, and not from my husband. Let me tell y’all what happened the week of July 9.
First, on that Sunday morning, I got up early to mow, and Stephen did the weed-eating. Once I finished mowing the front, I pulled the mower — still on and growling — toward the gate to the back. I knew I could push open the gate with one hand and pull the mower behind me with the other, so the machine would stay on. I didn’t want to have to pull the cord again, in case the mower wouldn’t restart. It really only gets ornery when clogged with wet grass, but I told myself I didn’t want to risk it.
Instead, I would be pulling the mower over the erosion-control netting we’d recently laid down near the gate. But the netting was staked into the ground. Surely the mower blades weren’t that low.
The mower choked on the netting, stalled, and wouldn’t restart for 20 to 30 minutes — the very problem I’d wanted to avoid. By then I didn’t have time to finish the backyard before church. Long story short, it was a two-shower day.
Then on Tuesday night, Stephen and I were at a cookout when my dad called. “Hey sweetie,” he said, “I thought you were going to be here around 7?”
Huh? I’d told Mom I would come over for dinner Wednesday night. Well, in my head I had. What I’d actually said was Tuesday. As in that very night, when I had other plans.
Finally, that Friday, I was preparing the venue for the MCL Summer Writing Retreat, and I remembered I needed to bring our coffeemaker to the retreat the next day. I thought I’d halfway talked to Stephen about this, or at least mentioned using the coffeemaker at the first Writing Retreat. I decided to grab him one of those canned Starbucks drinks on my way home, since I’d be absconding with the coffeepot before he got up Saturday.
I forgot the Starbucks drink. At home that evening, when I told Stephen I needed the coffeemaker in the morning, he had no idea. No, I hadn’t talked to him about it. I offered to run down to the gas station and find him some caffeine, but he said he’d go in the morning.
After each of these three incidents, the enemy hit me with a poison dart: Can I not do ANYTHING right? From the moment I mowed over that burlap netting, the serpent slithered onto the scene (probably in the weeds that keep popping up near our fence) and thwacked me with self-accusations. I saw the darts coming; I knew I could dodge them and forgive myself; but I let them hit me.
I grew up as the good kid — so whenever I make a blunder and my loved ones are a little frustrated with me, I get 10 times more frustrated with myself. I’ve placed far too much of my value in being “right” with my people. Sure, I apologized to Stephen and my mom, and they forgave me, and I’ll try to be more conscientious in the future. But that should’ve been the end of it. Instead, I let the enemy ping me with dart after dart.
Here’s the thing, though: Satan’s accusations, even when they’re true, are irrelevant to the child of God. My worth is secure. Jesus proved how much He loves me by dying for me when I was still His enemy (Romans 5:8). So nothing I do now, as His beloved, could make Him value me any more or any less (Romans 8:38-39).
Wherever you get your value, if it’s not in Christ, it won’t last. But if you are in Christ, your value never changes.
“And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” — Colossians 2:10, emphasis mine.
If you’re trusting and following Christ — even imperfectly — then you are complete in Him, Christian. Don’t let anyone or anything tell you otherwise.
Armed with this truth, march on, sharing the saving love of Jesus with everyone you meet. And don’t worry about what they think of you: The Lord thinks you’re worth dying for.
Katie Eubanks Ginn